SANTA ANA (CBSLA) — An Orange County child under the age of 5 has died from complications of COVID-19, public health officials said Friday.
The child, who had underlying health conditions, died in August, according to the OC Health Care Agency. No further information was released about the child.
The county’s health officer, Dr. Clayton Chau, said the child’s death is a reminder that even fully vaccinated people should continue to wear masks indoors, avoid crowds, wash their hands regularly, and keep their distance from other people in poorly ventilated areas.
“My heart goes out to this family who has lost a precious young life,” Chau said in a statement. “This is an urgent reminder that we must do everything we can to protect our little ones, the children and infants in our community who are not yet eligible for a vaccination.”
Doctors in Orange County had been concerned about the rise of pediatric cases of COVID, particularly as schools returned to in-person learning this fall.
OC Health officials say its hospitalizations and ICU admissions gone down in the first week of September, with hospitalizations dropping from 500 to 432, and ICU admission declining from 138 to 129 per day. The Delta variant continues to be the most concerning strain of COVID-19 circulating, but OC health officials noted the monitoring of the Mu variant, which was first identified in Columbia in January. There have been just 14 reported cases of the Mu variant in Orange County, health officials said.